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  • Branching after OCS

    I know there is a ton of information out there on branching and I have read lots and lots of it. Not sure if any of it, however, was directly related to my situation, although many similar situations although not identical were brought up and discussed.

    I recently enlisted in the Guard as an 09S. I got a basic and federal OCS ship date that was back to back. I am "vouched for" (I guess?) by a unit, combat arms in nature, after I was told there wouldn't be any aviation slots available for a few months. So my question is this: By the time I go to basic and OCS and return, the 'several months' time frame would have elapsed. Can I, upon returning from OCS and before having gone to BOLC, inquire into branching aviation and actively pursue that route? Or is that a no-no? And if I do pursue that route and get turned down/rejected/find out there are no slots, will the unit that I go to be resentful?

    Basically, I have always wanted to fly and want to pursue that route and achieve that dream. At the same time, I want a successful military career even if I do something other than aviation, and so I do not want to go against protocol in this manner. It's not like I would hate to end up with the unit and branch that I am slotted for-- those guys and my recruiter have been great throughout the whole process.

    Any help or advice would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Branching after OCS

    It is up to your state's OSM. I would suggest engaging them while you are at OCS and make your case. A high APFT, top marks and the like at OCS wouldn't hurt...

    You also might want to contact the Aviation units that you are wanting to get into and grease the slides a bit.

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    • #3
      Re: Branching after OCS

      Thanks for your answer.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Branching after OCS

        This happens so it is not entirely out of the question. You aren't branch qualified until you've been to BOLC-B, so it is much easier to switch as a LT before you are branch qualified.

        We have a LT in a different Troop that hasn't yet been to BOLC-B who is branched Quartermaster, but he's been patiently waiting around for an AV slot to open up.

        It will be highly unit dependent. If you can get a contact within the AV unit or possibly make a call to your State Army Aviation Officer (SAAO), they will be able to give you the real skinny on whether it is realistic that you will get a slot.

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        • #5
          Re: Branching after OCS

          It would also help if you did a huge share of work before you attended BOLC, such as flight physical, the aptitude test, contacted the aviation unit for support ect. Basically get your flight packet together.

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          • #6
            Re: Branching after OCS

            Thanks for the advice, guys. I'm waiting on a call back from the state OSM on whether or not there are aviation slots available for me to pursue. I couldn't find the info for my state's SAAO or a contact for my state's warrant aviation openings.

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            • #7
              Re: Branching after OCS

              Ok, as an update--- No aviation slots available per the OSM. I got ahold of the strength manager for WO's and he sent me over a packet to complete. Only problem is, he told me I had to download 'Lotus' to view the documents. He told me if I had any questions about that to just Google it. I've done that for hours and I've downloaded a few different programs and they either don't work or won't open the documents in question because those files are 'locked'. Does anyone have knowledge about where to find the appropriate program? The officer said that it is widely used in the Army.

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              • #8
                Re: Branching after OCS

                You have access to AKO, right?

                http://www.apd.army.mil/Home/Links/DownloadSoftware.asp

                They have a link to AKO where you can download the software.

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                • #9
                  Re: Branching after OCS

                  A lot of those forms have PDF versions available to.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Branching after OCS

                    I actually don't have access to AKO, or anything else for that matter... I'm hoping someone gives me some of this info at the first RSP. I also need help with setting up healthcare, etc. Done a lot of Google searches on my own but it's all confusing.

                    Anyways, the point is moot now because the WO said I cannot start putting together a WO packet until I've finished Basic+OCS+BOLC because I signed an enlistment contract aimed at commissioning as a 2LT.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Branching after OCS

                      Ah so you already enlisted 09S. I see your issue then.

                      If you wanted to change course and most definitely go WO, you could complete BCT then come home and tell them you don't want to do OCS. It is a voluntary program and you can quit at any time. Your state should then give you the option to choose another MOS and go to AIT, or to be discharged from the NG. You could choose an Aviation MOS, go to AIT, spend some time at the unit and build credibility, then apply to become a WO. I know a WOC right now who actually enlisted 09S and was injured during OCS so he was dropped, but he chose to stay and enlisted in a 15 series job and served in that for 3 years. No he just left and is at Mother Rucker for WOCS and will graduate in November, then start Flight School.

                      Route two is stay the course through BCT and OCS, but have your Aviation WO packet ready and submit it just prior to commissioning or right after. You can resign your commission and become a WO1, if accepted.

                      Route three is stay the course through BCT and OCS, make sure you get all the necessary things done for Aviation (SIFT, Physical, LORs wouldn't hurt either) and every time you get to fill out a branch choice sheet put it as your first choice. Bust your butt to be at the top of your game academically and physically throughout OCS so you can almost guarantee you'll get your first choice. Who knows, by the time you complete Traditional OCS there may be some slots available and if you're near the top of your class you may just get one. This is what I did, I commissioned in August and I leave for BOLC-B and Flight School in about two weeks.

                      I explored all these routes. I ended up sticking it out and got branched AV. Other LTs I know (in other states) put together packets to become WOs immediately after commissioning. It's your choice at the end of the day, but you do have options.

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